Hunter’s Death Determined to Be Accident 08-16-01

PHONE: 326-4232
AUGUST 16, 2001


The results of an autopsy conducted Thursday (August 16, 2001) determined that a 44-year-old Kailua-Kona man died of an arrow wound to the heart.

The victim, Thomas Depontes, of Kailua-Kona, was shot by an arrow Sunday (August 12, 2001) while bow hunting with his two sons in the Puuwaawaa Ranch area of South Kohala.

In a follow-up investigation at the scene, Kona police, along with Department and Conservation and Resource Enforcement (DOCARE) officers, determined that Depontes was shot accidentally by hs son, Thomas, 18.

The police investigation indicated that the son spotted a sheep about 15 yards away, but because of trees, shrubs and rocks, couldn’t see his father standing about 20 yards on the other side of the animal. The investigation further indicated that the son shot an arrow that missed the sheep, deflected off a rock or branch and struck his father in the chest.

According to witnesses, Depontes pulled the arrow out, walked a few steps and then collapsed.

The victim was driven to the Rangers’ check-in station on Hawaii Belt Road (Route 190) where rescue personnel picked up the victim and drove him to the North Hawaii Community Hospital in Waimea. Depontes was pronounced dead at 2:40 p.m. at the hospital.

Police have classified the death as a public accident.

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